Beyond Islam: The Muslim Experience in Modern-Day Europe

Authors: Yolanda Cieters and William D. Linser – World Affairs Council

Unit Level: High School (grades 9-12)

Fifty years ago, there were fewer than one million Muslims living in Europe. As a result of post-World War II migration, an estimated 15-20 million Muslims, of widely varying origins, religious identifications, and political commitments, now live within the territory of the European Union. They represent the continent’s fastest growing religion. If Turkey were admitted into the EU, the number of Muslims living in Europe would increase to nearly 90 million.

The issue of Islam in Europe is understandably raising a number of critical questions for European countries. First, in an increasingly secularized Europe, the presence of a highly religious Muslim population has troubled many Europeans; Islam appears to be more vital than the historically dominant religions. Second, immigration has led to the establishment of sizable minority populations, who often face serious handicaps in terms of their social, socioeconomic, cultural and political integration. Continuing problems of poverty and joblessness may confound the identity crisis among second and third generation immigrants, mostly European citizens, leading some to embrace Islam more intensely.

The Muslim Experience in Modern-Day Europe

Handouts:

  1. Europe Resources
  2. Unit Preview KWL Chart
  3. Quiz Worksheet
  4. Quiz Answers for Teachers
  5. Fact Finding Worksheet
  6. Fact Answer Sheet
  7. Maps of Europe
  8. Group Work Evaluation
  9. Discussion Questions Great Britain
  10. Kreuzberg Slide Show
  11. Kreuzberg Slide Show Notes
  12. Bubble Map
  13. Background on the Headscarf Ban
  14. Student Worksheet
  15. Points of View on the Hijab
  16. Assessment Worksheet